DIRTY BLOND

I was going to make an attempt to keep my reviews about beers that would be available to the general public and not ones that are hard to find or impossible to buy without traveling but after my last trip to the Adirondack Pub & Brewery (APB) I feel like I need to spread the word about this place. It’s a log cabin-style building located in the south end of the Lake George village, right on 9N, in upstate New York. Inside the building, the bar is constructed from rough cut timber giving it a rustic feel and the dining area is broken up into several small sections so no matter how crowded it gets, you are never sitting near more than a few other people. They also have a covered patio section for outdoor eating & drinking. This is where I prefer to sit unless, of course, it is unbearably hot. Not only is it usually great weather up there, they also have several different kinds of hops growing around the patio which has a nice look to it and produces a great smell late in the season.

Being a brewpub, there are several aspects about this place that set it apart from most other restaurants. First, and most notable, is that they brew all the beer they serve on site. That’s right, they don’t serve any other companies’ beers so don’t try ordering your “safety” American Lager (BMC). They also sell their beer “to go” in bottles, kegs & growlers. For those of you that don’t know, a growler is a half-gallon refillable glass jug used to transport beer. This is my preferred method of purchasing beer at places that offer the option because it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than individual bottles. Most waiters & waitresses will also take notice if you return to a place with one of their empty growlers. It’s an immediate sign that you are a returning customer with a certain level of beer appreciation. Normally, the one major disadvantage a brew pub faces is that they are only allowed to sell beer from their location and not distribute it to other resellers. I’m not sure of the legality of it, but surprisingly you can find APB’s beers in 40 different bars and restaurants in the Lake George area.

In addition to their constantly changing list of seasonal beers, the APB also has eight year-round beers. I usually try a few seasonals but can’t leave before having one of their IPA’s or Double IPA’s. These go very nicely with some of the BBQ sauce drenched meals they have to offer (ribs, pulled pork, Rodeo burger, etc.) but when having one of their seafood dishes you will want to go with something lighter. That is where this week’s beer comes in. Last year I was looking for a beer to have with the crab cakes I had ordered, but didn’t want something as light as their Bobcat Blond, which is almost undrinkable to me because of its lack of flavor. This led me to the Dirty Blond, an American Wheat Beer. The beer menu described it as being brewed with American Ale yeast to keep it light and refreshing while being dry-hopped with an enormous amount of Cascade & Centennial hops. The waitress brought over my beer in one of APB’s own pint glasses (also available for sale). It was a cloudy golden color with a tint of orange whose head had dissipated before reaching the table. The aroma is not something I would have normally expected from a wheat beer, but the mention of dry-hopping in the description explained the heavy citrus smell that clearly dominated the faint presence of wheat and spices. Luckily, because this enormous amount of hops was used for dry-hopping, the aroma is what’s mostly affected and doesn’t come through as bitterness in the taste. The wheat makes this beer very crisp and refreshing while citrus from the hops and some spice give the beer a nice body, keeping it from being too light. It would be a perfect transition beer for a hop-head looking for something lighter.

The APB is one of the many great places to eat and drink in Lake George, which is one of my favorite vacation destinations. In addition to all the great beers they have and the relaxing environment, their food has also yet to disappoint me. Regardless what you order, be sure to get a side of sweet potato fries w/ raspberry Melba sauce, you can thank me later. Down the hatch!

Chris Wecht

 

Also Summer of Cans 2011 shirts are now available here!